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Are you interested in what veggies your bearded dragon can eat? Are you worried about ensuring that your beardie is getting the right amounts of nutrients they need to stay healthy?
Your beardie will indeed eat almost anything you give them, but not everything is safe for them. So, can bearded dragons eat squash? In this article, we will go over the answer to this question and a few more pieces of information you need to help you better care for your beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Squash?
Yes, a bearded dragon can eat squash. Beardies enjoy eating different squashes. They will eat butternut squash, acorn squash, summer squash, and spaghetti squash, among other things. But, they should only be given this vegetable occasionally and in small amounts.
There are several beneficial nutrients for your bearded dragon in squash, but there are a few caveats as well. We will go over both of these in this article.
What Nutrients Can Your Bearded Dragon Get from Eating Squash?
There are several nutrients in squash that your bearded dragon needs to stay healthy and grow to its fullest potential. Here are they are:
- Vitamin A and C: These are essential for a bearded dragon’s development, immune system, reproduction, healing, and vision.
- Vitamin K: This helps prevent blood clotting and improves their bone’s well-being.
- Vitamin B6: This increases vitality and improves their nervous system’s health.
- Thiamine: This helps make their nerve tissues healthier.
- Manganese: This helps improve their metabolism and digestion.
- Magnesium: This is great for your bearded dragon’s brain and muscles.
- Fiber: This helps your dragon process its food better.
- Potassium: This regulates their blood pressure, especially on hotter days.
Pro-Tip: There are several ways to add nutrition to your beardie’s meal. And, among the best ones are to add multivitamins to their meals. Get some for your bearded dragon here!
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Squash?
To humans, all kinds of squash are great for their health and are very nutritious. But the nutrients in them are imbalanced. You should only add squash to your bearded dragon’s meal once a month. And, a very small amount every month is ideal for keeping your beardie healthy. Feeding them squash too often may lead to issues that you do not want.
Your beardie needs several nutrients to make for their holistic health and development. And a squash has several of these. If you want to know more about how to take care of your beardie’s skin, you can refer to this article here.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Squash Every day?
Despite the possible benefits your bearded dragon can get from eating a squash, the drawbacks they offer are significant. And, eating too much may lead to long-term health issues for your bearded dragon.
A squash falls short when it comes to the biggest factor when looking for food you can give your bearded dragon. The calcium to phosphorus ratio in squash does not meet the ideal ratio that a beardie needs. The ideal ratio should be 1:1 or 1:2, but squash has a 1:4.4 calcium to phosphorus ratio, which is dangerous for dragons.
Since there is too much phosphorus in squash, balancing the ratio to the ideal level won’t be easy, even after adding calcium-rich vegetables to their meals. You can choose to add calcium supplements to help in this matter, and you can get some here.
Regardless, food with too much phosphorus will become an issue for your beardie, and they can develop a metabolic bone disease which is almost always fatal when left untreated.
To help you, here is an article on a vegetable that your bearded dragon can eat more often.
How to prepare squash for your bearded dragon
Bearded dragons’ meals should mirror what they eat in the wild. You need to do a few things to help them eat their food better, but you need to serve it to them as fresh and raw as possible. Here are a few other things you need to consider before deciding what to do with this food.
- Buy Organic: When choosing which vegetables to buy for your dragon, buying organic best. If you can’t find any, just buy the freshest greens you can find.
- Wash Them Well: You need to wash the squash well before giving these to your dragon. This will remove all the foreign materials and other chemicals outside the plant that may be harmful to your beardie.
- Remove the Peels: Your bearded dragon cannot eat squash rinds. These are too hard for your dragon to bite through and can get stuck in their throats.
- Cut Them Up: Beardie can eat peeled squash directly. But, it is better to cut them up to bite-sized pieces that will be easier for them to eat.
- Serve Them: Put the squash in a bowl as treats or add them to a salad. After all that preparation, your dragon should be able to eat the squash without any problems.
Pro-Tip: You can also mix some mealworms in their bowl to make the meal more enjoyable for your bearded dragon.
A bearded dragon can eat squash, and it is safe for them. It also has several nutrients that are beneficial for your bearded dragon. However, this should not be a staple part of their diets. Once a month is more than enough for your dragon to benefit enough from these vegetables.
Several other options are better for your dragon’s overall health. And, you’re better off feeding them these alternatives instead.